Photokina 2014 highlights

World's First

A computer bit circa 1958 from the LEO II/3 computer

The latest in our series of early technologies from Michael Bennett-Levy’s collection looks at the world’s first commercial business computer, the LEO II/3. The LEO II (short for Lyons Electronic Office) was the successor to the LEO I, which was designed by Oliver Standingford and Raymond Thompson of J. Lyons and Co. – one of the UK’s leading catering and food manufacturing companies in the first half of the 20th century.  Read More

The world's first 3D newspaper

In one of the more bizarre media announcements of recent times, News International's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) British Tabloid The Sun is to publish a 3D edition on June 5 complete with 3D glasses, 3D editorial images, 3D adverts and a 3D Soccer World Cup schedule Wall Chart. It's yet another newspaper first for the Murdoch empire (along with recalibrating public morals by widely distributing images of bare-breasted women), though we suspect the motivation is more related to Murdoch's Sky Sports broadcasting the World Cup in 3D than by any forlorn hope of innovating a reversal of the Sun's circulation which has been in decline for 15 years.  Read More

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller - world’s first production motorcycle sells for GBP86,200

The rare appearance of an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on the auction block on April 25 caused considerable excitement across the world in the preceding months. Gizmag covered the history and heritage of the machine in great detail prior to the auction and we're not surprised that a far-from-pristine example of the world's first production motorcycle should fetch an above-estimate GBP86,200.  Read More

One of the new biodegradable SunChips bags, after spending 12 weeks in a compost heap

The last thing the world needs right now is more discarded food packaging, which is why it’s good to hear that Frito-Lay is about to introduce a 100% compostable bag for their SunChips snacks in the US and Canada. Made with plant-based polylactic acid, the new bags will completely biodegrade within about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin.  Read More

Georgia Tech professor Zhong Lin Wang holds an improved nanogenerator containing 700 rows ...

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the world's first self-powered sensors at the nanometric scale. Tiny generators embedding thousands of nanowires produce electricity whenever the wires are subjected to mechanical strain, and can be used to power microscopic sensors without the need for batteries.  Read More

Future's so bright for Senior Vice President and CEO of LG Electronics, Korea, Kyoung-joon...

LG has unveiled what is the sure to be the first of many LED TVs to get the 3D treatment. The LX9500 is illuminated by panels of LEDs directly behind the screen for local dimming, with the 55-inch model alone boasting 1,200 of the semiconductor light sources. The LEDs help the TV achieve a 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio while sporting an ultra-thin 22.3mm (less than 1 inch) deep body with a stylish 16mm super-narrow bezel.  Read More

The Cooper Plastic Anchor for small watercraft being held by inventor Larry Cooper in betw...

Most small watercraft need anchors just like bigger boats, but many down-sized anchors struggle to hold these vessels in place, even breaking apart. If you ride a personal watercraft (PWC), like a Jet Ski, stowing a metal or aluminum anchor in the craft’s onboard storage containers can wreak havoc, sometimes almost punching through in rough conditions. That’s no good aboard an inflatable, either. Australian-based Cooper Anchors has designed a world-first lightweight, plastic anchor with a weighted tip, straight streamline shank and small blade that work harmoniously to drive deep into the sea bed and hold your craft in place. What’s more, it’s flexible, tough, won’t scratch or puncture your PWC or inflatable and weighs less than 1kg.  Read More

There is no known documentation that the car ever flew  Credit: Red Baron Antiques

Putting aside jet packs, the other science fiction dream to perpetually elude us is the flying car. Gizmag is littered with stories on flying car inventions and yet my Toyota Camry is mournfully clipped, fused to the road while my dreams of zooming to work in the 21st century remain unrealized. But this is not a story about a new-fangled invention, this is a story about the pioneering forerunner to these zippy young upstarts; the ancient grandfather of flying automobiles, Frank Skroback's Flying Car, which recently went to auction in Atlanta, Georgia.  Read More

SanDisk has announced the availability of the world’s first 32GB microSDHC removable mem...

If that 16GB microSDHC card in your mobile phone is starting to burst at the seams with music and video files, not to mention photos of your BFF, then Sandisk’s new 32GB card is arriving just in time. The company has announced the availability of the world’s highest capacity removable memory card to enhance the storage capacity of devices that will support it.  Read More

Football fans will be able to enjoy games in 3D in pubs and clubs around the UK and Irelan...

Last year UK broadcaster Sky announced it would launch Europe’s first 3D TV channel. It has now revealed that Saturday April 3rd will be the kick off date, with the broadcast of a Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea. Football fans will be able to don 3D glasses in over a thousand pubs and clubs across the UK and Ireland that have already signed up for the 3D service as will residential subscribers with the necessary 3D capable equipment.  Read More

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